The Crane’s blended family gives new meaning to the term “sibling rivalry.” Dakota plays for the Siegel Stars andBree cheers for the Riverdale Warriors. Not to be left out, Blake plays in the Blackman Youth Football League.
Rutherford County has been a hot bed of some of the biggest rivalries in Tennessee High School football.
It all started back in 1972, when Oakland and Riverdale became the biggest game in town. Today, the amount of high schools in the area has grown, and last weekend, three local rivalry matches took central stage in the area –Blackman at Oakland; Riverdale at Siegel and La Vergne at Smyrna.
The most anticipated out of the three was Riverdale at Siegel with both teams ranked in the Class AAA Top 10 poll. Siegel won 49-24.
For one local family, it was truly a house divided with daughter, Bree, a sophomore cheerleader at Riverdale, and her brother Dakota, a junior quarterback at Siegel.
Leading up to the Sept. 14 matchup, both of them kept the playful trash talking to a minimum since both teams were closely matched on the field.
“We did not trash talk as much as last year, since we had already gone through it once before we were prepared for whoever won,” Bree said.
Dakota added, “We both knew the game could go either way during the week.”
However, for their parents – mother Danielle and father Brett – their youngest child, Blake, knew what the game meant to Bree and Dakota.
“Bree is a Warrior all the way and loves being part of the Warrior family,” Danielle said. “Dakota is very proud of his Siegel Stars. I think mom and dad were more nervous about the outcome because both teams had so much riding on this game. Either way we knew we would have a win and a loss this week. Blake, the 9-year-old, was trash talking more than anyone. He looks up to his big brother and wanted his team to win.”
Even though the two are hated rivals when the schools meet on the sporting field, both Bree and Dakota, along with Blake who plays in the Blackman Youth Football league and is a third grader at Christiana, enjoy a close relationship with each other.
“The three of our kids are very close,” Danielle said. “They all have football in common so our house is a zoo during football season. Bree and Dakota have been best friends since the day (Dakota’s) dad and I married 10 years ago. Blake sees his brother as a ‘star’ in his eyes and can not wait to play football in high school like his big brother.”
Bree and Dakota echoed the same feeling about each other.
“I think of my big brother as my best friend,” said Bree, who has been cheerleading since she was 10, said. “We go to each other for everything and he is always there to make me laugh.”
Dakota, who has been playing football since he was 8 years old, added, “We have a good relationship as brother and sister. She’s one of my best friends.”
Danielle explained the reason why the two go to different schools. Dakota lives with his mother in the Siegel area, while Bree lives with Danielle and Brett in the Riverdale area.
The relationship between the two got more complicated during the game when Dakota, who also is the long snapper and linebacker for the Stars had to tackle Bree’s boyfriend during the game.
“We all went running on the field to congratulate the boys,” Danielle said. “My daughter (Bree) dates Riverdale player (Austin McGrone) and our son, Dakota, had to tackle him on one of the kick off returns. After the game, the two shook hands and Dakota apologized for having to tackle him, but told him he was just getting the job done. Austin just laughed about it and told him he understood.
“Being a mom, your kids friends become your own and you love them as your own so you do not want to see any of them lose, but it’s always a good feeling when they win,” Danielle added.
Now, the family does not have to cheer against each other the rest of the season as both Riverdale and Siegel fight for a state title.